Feasibility Issues in Reproductive Biomonitoring of Female Flight Attendants and Teachers

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Flight attendants (FAs) may be at risk of adverse reproductive outcomes. We investigated the feasibility of biomonitoring studies in this mobile workforce. Forty-five female FAs and 26 female teachers (referents) collected daily urine and saliva samples for one menstrual cycle, provided daily diary data for approximately three months, and wore a wrist monitor to measure sleep disruption. A transport system enabled FAs to store samples while traveling. Overall, participation rates were low (37%) but of those recruited, over 90% of FAs and teachers completed the biomonitoring cycle. Data collection and sample integrity were not diminished by travel. Study methods resulted in good compliance and high quality data. It is possible to conduct studies of menstrual cycle function, sleep disruption, and circadian rhythm disruption in a mobile workforce potentially exposed to reproductive hazards.

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